Ernest P. Seelman, recently appointed by Mayor LaGuardia a member of the Board of Higher Education, is the author of a 784-page book, “The Law of Libel and Slander in the State of New York,” published this month. Seelman prepared the book during leisure time in the past seven years.
The book has been cited as an authority on many occasions in court and is today the only one on the subject dealing exclusively with the law of the State. Thirty chapters are devoted to libel. Nine chapters deal with libel defined, libel by extrinsic fact, non-libel, application to plaintiff, publication, malice, liability, construction of words.
Other chapters discuss defenses, justification, damages, compensation, pleading and so forth, while others treat of the trial, proof, province of court and jury, charge of the judge and verdicts. Nineteen chapters present the subject of slander.
Seelman was born in South Brooklyn and at present lives at 1061 Eighty-fourth street, Brooklyn. Before entering Dartmouth College, from which he was graduated with high honors, he attended P. S. 77, on Second street, and Boys High School, Brooklyn. On graduating, he entered the law office of Luke D. Stapleton and was admitted to the bar in March, 1901.
In December, 1915, Seelman was appointed by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court a member of the committee on general character fitness for admission to the bar, which passes upon all applicants after they have passed the State bar examination. He was for more than nine years a secretary of that body. Upon his resignation he began the compilation of all libel and slander cases in the State of New York as material for his book.
He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa Chi fraternity, the New York State Bar Association and Minerva Lodge, 79, F. & A. M.